In a first for Canada, the Osgoode Hall Law School has announced the launch of the Investor Protection Clinic, that will provide free legal advice to investors who believe that their funds have been mishandled.
The centre will support investors who believe that investment risks were not accurately explained to them, whose funds were misused or used in ways that were not clear to them, and who were charged fees that were not properly explained to them.
Other common issues include cases in which the adviser signed forms on behalf of the client without the client’s knowledge, and cases where fund managers make too many trades, resulting in high commissions and trading fees.
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The announcement said that the clinic will assist by writing letters to companies and authorities, and by explaining the options available to the investor. It will also represent clients at hearings if so required.
However, the announcement made it clear that the clinic will not be able to assist if losses occur due to standard market situations, such as high volatility.
The clinic will be staffed by the students of the Osgoode Law school, paired with Ontario lawyers.
With the growing number of scams and cases of misused funds, the centre is likely to be a useful tool for investors who require assistance.